For many of us pet parents, our weekdays are constructed by routine. It’s an important part of the organization of our lives and the pursuit of whatever goals we have, especially when we have our dogs’ needs to worry about, too.
Routine helps us foster daily practices that get us closer to what we want or who we want to be. We can form good habits while eliminating bad ones that prevent us from reaching our full potential.
So if routine is so important for us humans, is it important for our cherished pooches as well? The answer is yes! Here’s why.
Why Is Routine Important For Your Dog?
Dogs are creatures of habit. The more they’re able to have a general understanding of an established routine or schedule, the more comfortable they are with their environment.
Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian based in Fort Collins, Colorado, says, “Dogs thrive on a routine, in large part because they don’t have to worry about what is, or is not, about to happen next.”
If your dog’s day has constant changes, then it could lead to anxiety in your dog. Not knowing when their next meal will come or when they can go outside to relieve themselves can cause their stress levels to go up.
Jeb Cadwell, a certified canine behavior consultant in California, says, “A routine establishes a predictable stream of information about the primary resources. This information reduces stress and opens the door for the dog to move on to enjoying life beyond mere survival.”
Another reason routine is important for your pup is that it helps to housetrain them. Having a consistent routine will help them recognize when and where they can go potty. This will also prevent accidents inside your home if they stick to a regular schedule and know how soon they’ll be able to go outside.
Routine can also help your dog with training in general. Teaching them a new trick or behaviors requires consistency. A dog who can receive the same cues over and over again will eventually learn the trick or behavior taught to them.
Routine Keeps Your Dog Healthier
For feeding times, depending on the size and health of your pup, establishing a set schedule will make sure their metabolism is stable and will help prevent overeating and weight gain.
Some dogs need several smaller-serving meals a day while others only need to eat larger meals once or twice, maybe with some treats in between. Ask your vet what’s most appropriate for your dog. Making sure they have a comfortable and safe place to eat is also recommended.
Taking them out at least twice a day — preferably more — is important for you dog so they can not only get some needed exercise, but also so they can go potty and relieve themselves.
Some of us pet parents might work the whole day, which leaves your pup at home on their own. If you have time, adding five to ten minutes of some quick play before you leave or when you get home will help quell their separation anxiety and loneliness.
What do you think about routine for your dogs? Does your dog have a routine? Let us know in the comments below!